Bear the Burden

The Denver Broncos are 6-0 through no fault of their offense. I’ve watched my team all season as Peyton Manning and our offense painfully march down the field, stuttering drive after stuttering drive only to settle for a field goal in the red zone. We get lucky every so often and score a touchdown, but those victory dances in the End Zone are far less frequent than in seasons past. In fact, it was only two seasons ago that the Denver Broncos were the most prolific offense in NFL history.

This year, they look nothing like that legendary side of the ball. There are tons of factors as to why this is; an aging Quarter Back, a make-shift offensive line, a running back core that hasn’t quite found the rhythm of finding the hole and cutting up the field, a new coaching staff, a new system and, all of it, sits on the shoulders of our offense like bricks in a backpack.

Thankfully, there are two sides to every game. Our defense is full of players that will fight for their team. They are one of the top ranked defenses in the league, terrorizing opposing teams with pick six’s, sac after sac, and coverage that resembles butter spread all over bread. There hasn’t been a game yet this season where our defense hasn’t bailed us out with a forced fumble, an interception, or by putting points on the board. That’s right. Points.

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Judah and I at the Broncos season opener

This year’s Denver Broncos are certainly something to behold. I know I’m watching something special every week but not for the reasons you would think. Sure, I love watching our defense punish our opponents and yes, when our offense is out on the field there’s something strangely exhilarating about the nerves that overtake you with each snap but the beauty of this season is in something far more transcendent than football. After each three and out, every pick that Manning throws, every failed attempt in the red zone, the defense marches out on the field and makes up for the offense’s lack. They are carrying their team mates, doing their jobs and then some just to push the team forward.

As I was watching them this week, this scripture came to mind.

“Share each other’s burdens and in this way, obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 NLT

That’s what I had been watching on the field! Any defense that has scored a touchdown in every game of the season is certainly taking on the burden of their offensive team mates and game after game, they do it gladly. They know that while they have found their rhythm and are clicking on the field, the other guys still need some time and they are more than happy to carry the team when needed. They care enough about the legacy of their quarter back and the record of their team to work harder and be better and instead of criticizing the weak parts of their team, they carry them.

I want to be like this. I want to be the friend or family member that sees my loved ones struggling on the field and swoops in with game stopping plays. I want to fight for them and take on their burdens as my own.

I want to carry them.

Just this week I’ve watched some dear friends stare down some devastating curve balls, the kind that life throws hard and fast, that leave you reeling and dizzy. I’ve watched and prayed and cried and questioned right alongside them, trying to be like the Denver defense in their lives, hoping that what little bit I can do lightens the load.

There’s only so much that can be done, but I pray that I can love them through. I pray this week that I have opportunities to carry those burdens for the people that I love and that as I do, a little bit of the battle is won.

Will you join me? Will you look for chances to bear the burdens of the people you love that are struggling to keep up with whatever life is throwing at them? Maybe you bring them a meal, maybe you pray with them, maybe you simply allow them more grace than normal and offer encouragement and patience. Whatever way you do it, know that while you do, you are fulfilling the law of Christ.

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 NIV